Review: The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
Release Date: March 6, 2018 
Publisher: Random House Children's 
Genre: YA Contemporary 
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 
Told from three diverse points of view, this story of life and love after loss is one Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, calls a "stunning, heart-wrenching look at grief that will stay with you long after you put it down."

We've lost everything...and found ourselves.

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death might pull them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was: a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan is a guy who can't stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger who's struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band's music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.


Absolutely stunning! 

The Beauty That Remains is a thoughtful, introspective, and emotionally driven debut. It's gut-wrenching as well as uplifting, and over time I began to care for Logan, Autumn, and Shay as if they were my own friends.

As mention above, The Beauty That Remains introduces three protagonists. Logan, Autumn, and Shay are all dealing with loss, grief, and moving on. 

I found all three characters to be interesting as well as likable. I especially appreciated that they weren't all friends; instead, they were general acquaintances, sometimes overlapping but mostly sticking to their own social circles. Out of the three, I found Shay's story to be my favorite. Mostly because (a) I'm fascinated by twins in general and (b) because her voice just really came through to me. I will say, however, that the POVs, especially at first, sounded incredibly similar. Sometimes it was hard to remember who exactly I was reading about, but as the book continued, I found this to be less of a problem.

What I love the most about this book, however, is the way in which Ashley paints grief. The Beauty That Remains shows that no one grieves exactly the same. Some are quiet with their grief and some are loud. Some can't bring themselves to cry, no matter how hard they try. Some cling to their last words, dwelling over the what-ifs. Ashley also addresses the good-and-bad that social media brings about when somebody dies. All three characters have their ups and downs when it comes to their loved one's social media accounts. One one side, all three of them appreciate that their loved one's accounts are still there, that they can still look at their Instagrams, Youtube channels, etc., but at the same time they suffer when deciding when enough is enough. This aspect really made me think. It's interesting in a way that someone can live on through their old posts, no mater how long ago they passed away. Additionally, Ashely brings everything full circle, she allows the characters to see the good in the "beauty that remains," and I loved the character development that occurred for this to happen. By the end, I felt that I left all three characters in a much better place than when I started.

Overall, The Beauty That Remains is a standout debut. The writing is what especially stood out to me here, especially when it came to Ashley's observations and conclusions relating to grief and death.

4 stars!! 


  1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one too. I thought it was a beautiful read and can't wait to read more from this author.

  2. This sounds lovely, Lauren. I love it when a book is beautiful and hits you in the emotions. I need to check out this debut!
    Lovely review!

  3. I love the cover of this and recently read a summary. I feel like I need to be in the right headspace to read such an emotionally wrenching book, but I defintiely want to try it!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

  4. This sounds like such a beautiful story. I like that the author captured different ways of grieving and that even though the story may be sad, there's hopefulness at the end. Great review!

  5. Wow, sounds like you loved this book!!! I got it for review from the pub but haven't really looked into it. It's not my usually type of read but YA contemporary has been surprising me lately. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

    Great review! Have a lovely day, Lauren. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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